Ronan O’Gara and La Rochelle suffered further final heartbreak at the hands of Toulouse as Ugo Mola’s side ran out 18-8 winners in the Top 14 decider at the Stade de France.
Having succumbed to Toulouse in the Champions Cup final last month, La Rochelle again fell to their more illustrious rivals as two-time Rugby World Cup winner Jerome Kaino (38) bowed out from the game with a European and domestic double.
Toulouse led from pillar to post as they clinched a 21st domestic crown while La Rochelle’s wait for major honours runs into another year.
Thomas Ramos, starting at No 10 in place of the injured Romain Ntamack, was the top scorer in the contest with 15 points – via four penalties and a drop goal – while a first career drop goal from Cheslin Kolbe helped Toulouse into a 12-0 lead at the break.
Ihaia West got La Rochelle off the mark with a penalty early in the second half but two efforts from Ramos extended Toulouse’s advantage to 12 points before replacement prop Dany Priso got over for a late consolation try.